Hello all. This thread is now a recruitment thread! Recruitment will be long (3 weeks or so unless I decide to cut it short). I am looking for around 5 players for a PL 7 (105 pp) 3e game. In short, the game is a multiverse adventure that will incorporate the Elric saga and the Dark Tower series. Obviously, it will feature characters, settings, and ideas that are the creations (and intellectual property) of either Michael Moorcock or Stephen King.
• World Moved On (3e): This multiverse adventure spans across various worlds, including our own, Melniboné, and Mid-World. As the last gunslinger, Roland Deschain, quests for the Dark Tower and the albino Elric of Melniboné begins his journey to the fabled city of Tanelorn, an unlikely ka-tet forms of heroes and anti-heroes from across the multiverse to oppose the advances of the Crimson King, a Lord of Chaos. His minions, led by John Farson, have already destroyed Gilead and left only one true gunslinger alive. Meanwhile, the White Wolf Elric led a fleet of Young Kingdom "barbarians" as they sacked the Dreaming City of Imryyr, signalling the long overdue fall of the Bright Empire. With the collapse of the Melnibonéan Bright Empire, the Crimson King's agents on the sorcerer isle of Pan Tang begin their ambitions to conquer the Young Kingdoms in the name of Chaos and march on Tanelorn - the manifestation of the Tower in that world. Our own world faces less obvious peril, but the supernatural forces of the Crimson King mobilize there as well. All that stands between him and victory are a handful of heroes who are bound by ka to locate the tower first.
Yesterday we arrived at the tall ziggurat where one of local heathens claimed a great treasure could be found. Not even a week before, the cavalier Cortés laid ruthlessly into our guide's back with a leather whip for the wild tales he told - but it seems that they were true! Even from the distance of many vara [translator's note: an antiquated measurement roughly equal to yards] away, we could see that this godless place sat crowned with a bounty of jewels, gold, and beads. The conquistador Cortés and our warriors of Christ bore their halberds, swords, and muskets in hand as we approached, for we had been ambushed three nights earlier. Poison claimed one of our numbers, a farmer's son from Toledo. Thanks be to our Lord for our caution, for we witnessed men - nay, they were surely not men and not of this world - climb the steps of the ziggurat, decked in armor black as night. Adorned as it was with dragons, claws, wings, and scales, they gave our men a great fright even before they drew their arms that howled and hissed like demons unleashed from hell.
Slaying a dozen heathens and a witch decked in feathers according to the heathen fashion, the demon-men laid their hands upon a gem as large and as pink as a ---- [translator's note: a now extinct fruit from the West Indies, now replaced by the grapefruit], lifting it from the pile of treasures. The natives in our service fled into the jungles, abandoning the cavalier Cortés - a man they took as their heathen god. From the look on the captain-general's face, I fear that he no longer wrote such local beliefs off as godless superstition. Faced with evidence of the evil one on Earth, we quickly made the sign of the cross and retreated back to camp and did not leave for many days.
- From the diary of Father Geronimo de Aguilar,
Brother of the Franciscan order and aide to Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro,
In the year of our Lord, 1519
(Translated from the Spanish)
Let me stand commala with ya and if ya don't believe... well, say sorry big big. In days past, time of the last harvestin', when the Wolves were bound to pour out, I saw a man camping right near the road to Thunderclap. Now this, mind ya, was a daft idear as you can ken because all could see this man was in a bit of trouble. Come, commala, you could see surely as the corn would rise that the man was headed for a killing at the hands of the Wolves. He wadn't from around the Callas - his face was white as bread for a popkin. Yep, a face as white as the White. His eyes was red as coals in the fire - or red commala [...laughter always explodes all around at this point in the tale...]. And in his gunna was something would get the Wolves' anger raisin' even hiya - he had a smokey black blade as tall as ya ever seen.
Bein' young and daft - I was Ka-Mai - I figured I'd warn the man and get him to ken the danger if he weren't roont. But Ka had other plans. The Wolves done rode out and nearly trampled the man. His blade rang true and he cut one down - thankee sai, said I. [... murmurs of agreement sound around the fire... ] But then they threw their snitches and I thought it was chassit for the man. The white-faced man was riding the wind of Ka that day 'cause he called forth the biggest bug you ever could see [... gasps of wonder abound...] and it ate up the snitches right out of the sky. Come, commala, he fell on them with his smoky sword like he were harvestin' rice 'til there weren't no more. And if they runned away, Ka saw fit to get them eaten up by that bug - horse and all. We ain't seen or heard from a Wolf since. And that's how it happened, say thankya big big.
- Campfire story, claimed as truth by William Daggett of Calla Webb Hiro
Sayeth the demon to Malin, Duke of Kartri, "Goest thou this Daye and seize thou the horne of the king."
Whereupon hearing the Duke set out with his companie, armed mightily with bothe sword and lance.
Then did they spye the wanderer in his armor of leather and crieth out "Have at thee in the name of Mabelode and of Hionhurn!" Reply not did the pilgrim but draweth out great weapons of deathe from his hips and answered with claps of thunder that shooke even the birds from the trees.
"I am slain!" yelleth Duke Malin as he fell to the soile. Upon my honour, not a single blade nor lance nor bow did the companie draw to face the man with cruel blue eyes before he lay their deathe upon them.
- From the epic poem Liberation of the Duchy of Kartri by Sir Rerick, knight of the Lords of Law,
402 in the year of the Young Kingdoms
• For those familiar with the settings, the campaign would begin after the sacking of Imrryr and the downfall of Gilead. Particularly, the game will start around the time of "While the Gods Laugh" in Moorcock's the Weird of the White Wolf and after an undisclosed point in the Dark Tower series (to avoid spoiling anything - feel free to PM me if you've read it all and want more info on the chronology). The timeline will be a bit fluid due to the nature of the source material. In the Dark Tower series, for instance, time is often uncertain. Things sometimes loop in strange ways and the entire timeline may be more circular than linear. Important note for purists: I reserve the right to alter some events from the source material given that there are parallel universes.
• Hero Creation rules: PL 7 (105 pp). Acceptable origins are characters from Mid-World, Melniboné, or our own world. Superheroes are forbidden unless they are realistic "pulp" heroes: Wolverine is out, but the Shadow could fit. Heroes from Mid-World can be failed gunslingers who were "sent west" after their trials, or they could be true gunslingers from a parallel universe similar to that of Roland Deschain's - one where a handful of gunslingers remain. The group will not be part of Roland's ka-tet or Elric's companions.
No player character may be loyal to Chaos.
Some character types from other books by Michael Moorcock or Stephen King (such as Purpose-touched insomniacs from Insomnia) may be appropriate.
House Rule wrote:Tech Familiarity (From 2e Mecha and Manga) - All characters native to either Melniboné or Mid World have a -4 penalty to skill rolls involving modern "real world" (our world) technology. All characters have a -4 penalty to skill rolls involving the technology of the Great Old Ones (from Mid World). Tech Familiarity can reduce one of these penalties to 0. A second rank of Tech Familiarity can reduce the other penalty to zero.
House Rule wrote:Breaking Ka - As a ka-tet, the heroes will be bound together by ka, something very similar to fate. Inter-party violence is strictly forbidden, as it will break the ka-tet and never be repaired. Heroes who follow the gentle nudges of ka will be rewarded with Hero Points. Those who push against it (I'll be clear when these cases apply), risk awarding the forces of disorder with Hero Points.
The following are models for constructing characters, but are not intended to restrict in character construction. They are a tool and applicants are welcome to deviate from these models. Some are constructed on more power points than the maximum.
Melniboné model builds:
Sample Jharkorian White Leopard (PL 7)
Sample Melnibonéan Mercenary (PL 7)
Sample Young Kingdom Sorcerer (PL 7)
Mid-World model builds:
Sample Billy Bumbler (PL 7)
Sample Breaker (PL 7)
Sample Eld-sworn Can-toi (PL 7)
Sample Gunslinger (PL 7)
Sample Magician (PL 7)
Sample Manni Scavenger (PL 7)
Sample Robot (PL 7)
Sample Sister of Oriza (PL 7)
Under the Hood literary stuff:
The combination of the settings of the Young Kingdoms and the Dark Tower saga might seem jarring, but there's a case to be made for them working together quite well.
The parallels start with the superficial and coincidental, but get more pronounced. For instance, both started as extended sagas of books and then earned comic book spin-offs. The famous author Michael Whelan did the artwork for both sagas.
On a much deeper level, though, both series involve multiple universes. They include the possibility for events spilling into our own world. Michael Chabon, who wrote the foreword to Duke Elric, called this trait "literary universalism." Significant portions of the Dark Tower saga take place in our world. Meanwhile, some of Moorcock's works (such as the Son of the White Wolf) do the same. In a sense, then, they are both post-modern to the extent that they incorporate the world of the reader and in times, even the author himself, into the story (intentionally problematizing the idea of the subject). Chabon noted that Moorcock's work features an interconnected story, hero, reader, and writer. The same can be said of the Dark Tower series, which features Stephen King and his real life near-fatal accident of being hit by a car. In each of the sagas, the countless worlds include numerous versions of the heroes. Elric is a manifestation of the Eternal Champion, "a hero with a hundred faces," as Campbell might put it. Humorously, one of these variants was the brown-skinned hero Shimi Hendrij, who bore a runesword suspiciously named Cloudhurler (i.e. Jimi Hendrix and his Stratocaster). Likewise, the Dark Tower series is full of variant characters, including the collie with intelligent, gold-rimmed eyes and the famous line from Jake: "Go then! There are other worlds than these!"
Both of the sagas feature an anti-hero as the protagonist. They both quest for the embodiment of peace and divinity in their setting, possibly a form of the quest for the Grail. Spiritual salvation for their flawed nature underlines the necessity of both endeavors. For Elric, he quests for the fabled city of Tanelorn. Roland quests for the Dark Tower. In both cases, the champion bears the fate of the world on his back, represents the end of a royal line and the lost yet greatest civilization, and is a cursed figure. In both cases, they are both woman-killers: the lover of the hero cannot avoid a violent death (later giving them a kind of permanent sorrow that makes them irresistible to women) and they inevitably lead countless companions to their death. Unfortunately, to walk along the champion is almost necessarily to die in the quest. In terms of appearance, they line up closely: both have wolf-like, piercing eyes and pale skin. Both suffer physical ailment and are driven by unnaturally strong wills.
Both are creatures of a world of magic and wield weapons that are parallels for their world's Excalibur. Elric wields the runesword Stormbringer (which he either draws from a stone or slides to rest into one in at least two books of the saga), while Roland Deschain bears a pair of pistols whose barrels were forged from Arthur Eld's famous sword. They both also carry horns of mystical importance: Roland wears the Horn of Eld, while Elric carries the Horn of Fate. These weapons they wield against Chaos, which is almost triumphant in their worlds and threatens the ultimate object of their quest.
In each, the ultimate meaning of the quest is unclear. The reader is not certain until the end what exactly awaits the hero. The contents of the Tower are unknown to Roland and his audience. It may offer godhood, or it may offer only madness. It may provide peace and rest, but those terms are synonymous with death. Moorcock explains Tanelorn in exactly those terms in Duke Elric.
You don't need to have read either the Dark Tower or Elric sagas to qualify. Please briefly scan one or more of my current or past games to ensure that my GM style is something that would interest you.